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New Taipei City mayor prays for COVID-19 to stay away with Kuai Kuai snacks

‘Delta, be good and stay out,’ writes Hou Yu-ih on bag of classic Taiwan snack

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New Taipei City Mayor Hou Yu-ih attends prayer ceremony for Ghost Festival. (New Taipei City Government photo)

New Taipei City Mayor Hou Yu-ih attends prayer ceremony for Ghost Festival. (New Taipei City Government photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — At the New Taipei City Government’s Ghost Festival prayer ceremony on Wednesday (Aug. 18), Mayor Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) wrote phrases such as “Delta, be good and stay out” and “Pandemic, be good and stay put” on Kuai Kuai bags, UDN reported.

Kuai Kuai is a famous Taiwanese snack manufacturer whose name means “to be good” in Chinese. The meaning of the name makes the brand’s various snacks popular as prayer offerings, and Kuai Kuai’s packaging designs in past years have allowed customers to write down the name of the thing they want to “behave well.”

Hou’s “prayers” have always been topical. Last year, he wrote “Consume Kuai Kuai and not ractopamine.”

The New Taipei City Government Secretariat said the scale of this year’s prayer ceremony was reduced to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and all attendees wore “New Taipei New Normal” masks. All offerings will be donated to those in need, according to UDN.

The Department of Environmental Protection said in a statement on Aug. 5 that to reduce crowd sizes at various ceremonies, it had set up an “online prayer” portal on its website. After citizens register online, the department will send the roster to the Zhulin Mountain Buddhist Temple in Linkou for a blessing ceremony at the end of the Ghost Month.